Stay at Home Moms are Working Moms


Stay at home moms are often more valuable and necessary than they think they are. Working Women. That seems obvious, doesn’t it?

Yet how many women count themselves as a working woman?

Especially if they are not employed by a company and earning a take-home-and-bank paycheck?

They are in the dentist filling out address lines and checking boxes to indicate they have no life- threatening health problem and that they haven’t had a recent mental breakdown. They then come across the question – employment.

They pause and wonder what to write.

They may decide to leave it blank and instead check that they haven’t passed a kidney stone in the last year.

And yet, I know countless working women. 

Who is cleaning the house? Making dinner? Filling out permission sheets and checking that homework is completed? Who is washing clothes and taking a sick dog to the vet? Who is volunteering at the library, the food bank, and leading a girl scout troop? Who is making a meal for the new mother at church, inviting neighbors to dinner, and leading a bible study? Who is coordinating their parent’s health care and hosting family dinners?

This is all work. Necessary and important work.

The world would collapse without mothers reminding their children to eat their vegetables, brush their teeth, and tie their shoes; if women quit reminding their mates to take their vitamins, send their mom a birthday card, and oh yes, Tuesday is trash day; or if women quit volunteering their evenings and not-so-spare hours, countless volunteer organizations and projects would fold up and close.

You may not receive a paycheck every month, paid vacations, job evaluations (unless you count such comments as, “this has too much salt,” as mini job evaluations), sick days, pre-set work breaks, and the most important kicker of all – a start and stop time, but that doesn’t mean you don’t do valuable necessary work that is as important as other work.

I am writing for The Better Mom this week. Please continue reading at The Better Mom for the rest of the article.

Stay at home moms are often more valuable and necessary than they give themselves credit for. May link up at Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory);  Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the discussion: How do you undermine your worth as a mom or woman?

Stay at home moms are often more valuable and necessary than they think they are.

The Many Ways We Dalay Things by Living in Fear

 

Do you delay things you need? Like happiness, joy, liking yourself? Or delay using things like fine china and wearing that new dress? Or delay doing things, like launching your dream and setting personal boundaries? Stop letting fear keep you from living life to the fullest.Do you delay things you need? Like happiness, joy, liking yourself? Or delay using things like fine china and wearing that new dress? Or delay doing things, like launching your dream and setting personal boundaries? Stop letting fear keep you from living life to the fullest.Do you delay things you need? Like happiness, joy, liking yourself? Or delay using things like fine china and wearing that new dress? Or delay doing things, like launching your dream and setting personal boundaries? Stop letting fear keep you from living life to the fullest.Do you delay things you need? Like happiness, joy, liking yourself? Or delay using things like fine china and wearing that new dress? Or delay doing things, like launching your dream and setting personal boundaries? Stop letting fear keep you from living life to the fullest.Do you delay things?

Things you need? Like happiness, thankfulness, joy, feeling positive, or liking yourself?

Or maybe you delay using things. Your grandmother’s china. Wearing that new dress. Reading that new book.

Maybe you delay doing things. Stating a new project. Using your talents. Stepping out to serve. Cleaning the house. Thanking the neighbor.

If you are like me, you delay things. Necessary things, little things, good things.

Sure, there is a reason, but probably not a very good reason.

 

How we delay things. An example.

 

I tend to be one of those people who when they start something, say cleaning the bathrooms or painting the front door, I don’t want to stop until I am done. And by done, I mean supplies put away and totally done.

There I would be sponge painting my daughter’s room at 12:30 at night, not willing to stop because I had only another two hours left to finish the project. And finish, I did. Though it is hard to clean paint brushes when your eyes are crossing and unfocused from tiredness.

When I am in the middle of a project, I don’t like to be stopped or interrupted. Family members are good for interrupting. My hubby walks in and asks when I am ready for a walk. Walk? I have four more hours before I am done. No breaks allowed.

See what I am doing? I am delaying a needed rest. Delaying play until all the work is done.  Delaying the needs of my body.

But I am getting better.

I think partly because when my husband and I do projects together, he stops before his eyes are crossing. If he gets hungry or tried and cranky, he stops. He has no qualms about taking a break and returning when he is refreshed and can do a quality job.

This trait of his used to drive me crazy.

“But we only have two hours left, we can eat and relax then,” I’d whine.

“I’m hungry now,” he’d counter, and then walk off and rest and eat.

I now realize his method is healthier. Less stressful. And produces a better end product.

It also doesn’t involve gritting your teeth and trying to just push through so much.

I now adopt his strategy and take more breaks and am less crabby and worn out by the end of the project.

Before I changed my way of thinking, I saw the breaks as the end reward and unnecessary. Work then play, was my rule.  I wanted to reward myself and relax when the project was done. Not before. That was like eating dessert before dinner.

Do you delay things you need? Like happiness, joy, liking yourself? Or delay using things like fine china and wearing that new dress? Or delay doing things, like launching your dream and setting personal boundaries? Stop letting fear keep you from living life to the fullest.Do you delay things you need? Like happiness, joy, liking yourself? Or delay using things like fine china and wearing that new dress? Or delay doing things, like launching your dream and setting personal boundaries? Stop letting fear keep you from living life to the fullest.

How fear holds us back. Living in fear keeps you from living?

 

Do you do this?

Let yourself sit down and relax only at the end of the day? Let yourself enjoy your family only after dinner? Get together with girlfriends only on weekends? Go outside and sit in the swinging bench only after you are done doing this and that?

Do you delay taking a trip until you have lost ten pounds? Do you only use your grandmother’s fine tea set when someone really important (and careful) comes over, which hasn’t happened yet, because you are not inviting anyone over until the house get a good spring cleaning?

Do you delay counting your blessings until your life straightens out? Decide not to let yourself be happy until the tests come back negative?  Put off stating a family until everything is perfect? Not take that scary step and use your talents to bless others until things all line up? Forgo date nights until the kids are older and the puppy potty trained? Not dream until you have enough money to dream?

What small things and big things are you delaying?

How is fear holding you back?

Have you given up on quiet time as long as you have kids in the house? Delayed being vulnerable until you have it all together? Decided not to love your mate until they love you back? Are you waiting for the other person to apologize first? Waiting until the trial is over before returning to church? Decided not to try counseling until things get seriously bad? Chosen not to deal with the bitterness until it shows on your face? Not set boundaries for yourself until you feel valuable enough?

Do you delay things you need? Like happiness, joy, liking yourself? Or delay using things like fine china and wearing that new dress? Or delay doing things, like launching your dream and setting personal boundaries? Stop letting fear keep you from living life to the fullest.

How to beat fear and start living.

 

I remember lying in a hospital bed. It was about day 4 of what I didn’t know then would become over 4 months, and a guy walked into the room. He was about my dad’s age and I knew him just a little. He was a quiet kind of guy, the opposite of his wife who lit up a room with her words and personality.

He sat, and we exchanged a few pleasantries. Then silence came and stayed awhile. And then he said, “We often wait for our boat to come in to start being happy or living.”

I nodded, not sure where he was going. Was he talking about himself? His grown children who were having problems? Or what?

I wasn’t waiting for a boat. I was just waiting for lunch, so I could start eating.

He started again after a few minutes. “We often wait for a whole bouquet of flowers to be happy, even though we are already holding a flower or two in our hand.”

I nodded. Boats to bouquets. Still not sure where his talk was headed.

He continued. “We wait and wait for the bouquet, never enjoying the two flowers we already have. Life sometimes goes by and we never get the whole bouquet at once. But when we look back we see we were given the bouquet flower by flower.”

His words hung themselves in my mind.

He wasn’t talking about boats or flowers, he was saying. “Be happy now with what you have. Don’t delay and wait for everything to be just right. Notice and find joy in what you already have.”

He was restating what Solomon said: Find joy in your current life. Eat. Drink. Be merry now.

What are you delaying?

Quit delaying. Start living. Doing. Wearing. Using. Inviting. Changing. Stepping out. Laughing.

Life is meant to be enjoyed.

Use what God has given you. And then bless those around you with your gifts, stuff, and vibrant personality.

Don’t delay living life to the fullest. Start living now.

 

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 

P.S. One of the things we tend to delay is rest. You may find this article, Rest For the Soul in the Midst of Dirty Dishes exactly what you need.


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the discussion: What is delaying you from living?

Do you delay things you need? Like happiness, joy, liking yourself? Or delay using things like fine china and wearing that new dress? Or delay doing things, like launching your dream and setting personal boundaries? Stop letting fear keep you from living life to the fullest.May link up at Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory);  Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

Do you delay things you need? Like happiness, joy, liking yourself? Or delay using things like fine china and wearing that new dress? Or delay doing things, like launching your dream and setting personal boundaries? Stop letting fear keep you from living life to the fullest.

When Was Your Last Playdate?

 

We need girlfriends. If we all make connections with each other and share our struggles. Our lessons learned. Our stories, we will be helping each other and healing our self at the same time.We need girlfriends. If we all make connections with each other and share our struggles. Our lessons learned. Our stories, we will be helping each other and healing our self at the same time.We need girlfriends. If we all make connections with each other and share our struggles. Our lessons learned. Our stories, we will be helping each other and healing our self at the same time.We need girlfriends. If we all make connections with each other and share our struggles. Our lessons learned. Our stories, we will be helping each other and healing our self at the same time.I shall be forever grateful to Mrs. Smith.

She was the first person who invited my husband and I over after we were married.

It was a time of great transition. We hadn’t been married long and were busy setting up our apartment and life in a new city. It felt like we belonged nowhere. We no longer fit into the single category. And while we were married, we didn’t have kids and we didn’t feel accepted into the married category. Besides, what did we even know about marriage? Nothing.

One day after church Mrs. Smith invited us out for a picnic with her husband and their three kids. Nothing fancy. But it felt wonderful. Like someone had noticed us in the new church we had been attending for several months. Like someone had recognized us now as a married couple.

We sat in the park that day, chatting, eating sandwiches and pasta salad under the sun breaks of Seattle’s weather.

I remember her telling me that it can take awhile to feel like you fit in once you are married.

It felt like she was reading my mind.

She asked how we met. Joked about their last fight. Corrected the children and their eating habits. In short, they let us into their life for the afternoon. They made me feel like you didn’t have to have it all together or be a perfect wife or mom before you were accepted into their inner circle. Instead we could be real. Not have all the answers or be an expert.

I left the picnic feeling rejuvenated.

But I was still young. And I didn’t fully appreciate Mrs. Smith. I was busy. Had things to do. Friendships were not a priority. They were something I took for granted. Something I would have more time for when life slowed down.

Girlfriends drifted in and out of my life. We moved. Moved again. And again. And I got older and began to appreciate and seek female friends. Began to see their importance. Realized that life is easier when we have companions to lift us, help us, and bounce ideas against.

 

The importance of girlfriends. Hint: Life is easier with girlfriends.

 

Ever go though a hard time without friends next to you?

I have. That time is harder. Longer. Lonely.

I don’t want to do that again. I want to be able to call in the troops and get life giving support. I want help carrying my burdens and someone to dance with me during the joy.

Don’t try and do life alone. It is lonely. Scary. And no fun.

Seek out friendships. Girlfriends. A community that can support you and that you can give back to.

Life is pleasanter when shared.

Start with one friend. Then add another. Then another.

Over the years I have met other women like Mrs. Smith. Women who encourage you, listen to you, share their life and struggles with you, and accept you as you are. In my earlier years, they took the initiative, because I was too scared and trying to appear perfect.

They have taught me that I don’t have to pretend to have it all together. That pretending to be perfect is a waste of time. That with them I can be my real self. Admit my mistakes. My shortcomings. We can laugh over frustrations and days gone wrong. And their friendship is there no matter what. Grace far exceeds their judgement.

They don’t come across in a preachy manner, but through example. Using their stories. Their openness. Their friendship.

These are the kind of friendships we need.

The kind of women we need to surround ourselves with.

The kind of women we need to be. Especially to other women in our sphere.

If we all make connections with each other and share our struggles. Our lessons learned. Our stories, we will be helping each other and healing our self at the same time.

That is the beauty of community where we can be honest and share.

We need girlfriends. If we all make connections with each other and share our struggles. Our lessons learned. Our stories, we will be helping each other and healing our self at the same time.We need girlfriends. If we all make connections with each other and share our struggles. Our lessons learned. Our stories, we will be helping each other and healing our self at the same time.

Commit to making and keeping girlfriends.

 

But this is going to require a time commitment. It requires leaving our kids, husbands, blankets and Netflix, and our to-do lists for a few hours here and there and making time for connecting. For play dates. For having some girl time.

Some girl dates will seem just like play, rest, or relaxation.

Some will seem like real work was done. Heavy. Maybe even serious.

We need both. So, don’t worry.

We can’t wait for others to schedule these times for us. We need to take the initiative. Realize that our girl dates are breathing life into us and that gets transferred to those in our life.

As mothers we are setting an example for our daughters about the importance of girlfriends.

We need to quit making excuses and find some other serious girlfriends who are ready to live in community. Ready to share, be honest, and hand out encouragement in large doses.

We can not expect the men in our lives to meet all out talking needs, listen to us for hours on end, and just plain meet our girly needs to connect on a deeper level with another female. Nor can we meet all their male friendship needs.

Being a wife is hard. Mothering takes endurance. Life is overwhelming. Dealing with work and all its stress is exhausting.

Don’t try and do it all on your own.

Gather together with others like and unlike you. Connect. Bond. Be honest. Struggle together. Share. Solve. Fight and reconnect. Encourage. Inspire. Love.

Encourage (don’t judge).

Compliment and celebrate (instead of competing).

Help (don’t hinder).

And don’t forget to sprinkle grace liberally around.

 

Things to Remember.

 

We are all at different stages, have learned different things, know different things, and need different things. We each have so much to give and share.

Regularly gather with girlfriends. Potential girlfriends. Long term girlfriends.

Don’t wait until you have it all figured out, know how to do it better than others, or almost reach perfection. Or you will miss out on a lot of fun years. And may never join in.

Just be a Mrs. Smith and invite someone to your simple picnic.

Connect.

Value each other.

Do life together. In community.

The way it is meant to be.

We need girlfriends. If we all make connections with each other and share our struggles. Our lessons learned. Our stories, we will be helping each other and healing our self at the same time.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 

Need another article on female friendship and how we need to stop making excuses and seek out girlfriends? The Friendship Moment of Change


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the discussion: What have been some of your best girlfriend date ideas? 

We need girlfriends. If we all make connections with each other and share our struggles. Our lessons learned. Our stories, we will be helping each other and healing our self at the same time.May link up at Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory);  Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

We need girlfriends. If we all make connections with each other and share our struggles. Our lessons learned. Our stories, we will be helping each other and healing our self at the same time.